Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  March 3, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST

9:00 am
in russia today, putin made a show of his military might with no military options himself, can the u.s. hurt russia enough economically to get putin to back down? we'll have a live report from nbc's bill neely in crimea and mike mcfall, as secretary of state john kerry heads to kiev tonight. >> the fact is he's going to lose on the international stage. russia is going to lose and russian people are going to lose, he's going to lose all of the glow that came out of the olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza. not going to have a sochi g8 and may not remain in the g-8 if this continues. >> snow more. 17 days until spring as another winter storm slams the east coast after icing over the midwest and south. we'll have the latest as we dig ourselves out right here in d.c. >> the problems will linger on the roads but should we taper off in the early afternoon in
9:01 am
terms of the snow, that will give road crews a big head start on what is going to be a deep freeze tonight. near record setting lows here in washington, d.c. >> and the oscar goes to -- between the all-star selfies and pizza break, it belonged on lifetime performances on films that captured the human spirit. >> when i look down at the golden statue, may it remind me and every little child, no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid. good day, vladimir putin and netanyahu each have a set political problems juggling foreign crises. mark halperin is even yor
9:02 am
analyst for msnbc and time in new york. and steve, first to you, you talked to a lot of officials over the weekend as this crisis has dialed up, the republicans have been increasingly critical. we'll get to john mccain and what he said at apec, at the american-israeli support group just today. but the options are pretty limited. there is no military option for nato or the united states here? >> ukraine is in a geographically complex position that makes the idea of military encouragement or response limited. but the thing the most effective potential response is what john kerry and barack obama are -- are showing vladimir putin, they have worked very hard, spent scores of billions of dollars to try to punk wait russia's rise and all of that is at risk now by the actions they've taken. by trying to show russia it is
9:03 am
potentially facing a very dark path where it's largely alienated from the rest of the world may be the best response here. >> mark halperin, when we talk about economic responses, russia has tried to be integrated with europe and been a member of the g-8 since the days when yeltsin and bill clinton were first negotiating that entrance. that is not just canceling a g-8 meeting. what he was talking about was kicking russia out of the g-8 because it's not a democracy if it invades another country. >> well, there's a number of problems with that. first of all, there are some reports the europeans as are often the case may not be as willing to be as hard line on these things as the united states is and keeping that economic coalition together will be a challenge. second, we know putin has a lot of give and leeway in the short term. anybody can spend that much on the olympics has access to the ability to paper over any short term economic hit he takes.
9:04 am
and third, of course, the guy plays to nationalism, by kicking him out of the g-9 or putting economic limits on travel and banking and other things, the more he's going to initially feel like that's an advantage for him to rally support. long-term those things are effective. short term they may make him think twice but i don't think they change his behavior which is more about influence militarily. >> to that point, steve, over the weekend we saw very strong reactions from steven harper, the prime minister in canada. strong reactions from hollande in france and from cameron, but where was angela merkel. for two days we did not hear a strong german response. germany has the strongest economic leverage and european leverage on vladimir putin. then get the readout from the white house that angela merkel told the president after a conversation with putin,
9:05 am
chancellor merkel told mr. obama on telephone, she was not sure putin was in touch with reality. people briefed on the call said in another world quoting merkel. what is that? >> it's a remarkable readout of what angela merkel allegedly said in these calls and their engageme engagement, her foreign minister had been part of the three that had gone to negotiate with yanukovych in kiev and secured the deal. so angela merkel's silence at the beginning may have been the other -- in another direction, that to a certain degree part of the criticism of what happened in kiev is that the legislature went too far. that they undid the deal with yanukovych that would not have given putin an opportunity to say, see, they are not following arrangements in terms of an appropriate challenge or democratic test of yanukovych's power. there's a question mark there and putin used that to justify moving forces into crimea. there was a chance angela was on
9:06 am
the side of this thing. now after her discussions -- putin lied. he lied to every one of these leaders before taking action. he said he would not activate and not intervene and not militarily move forces into ukraine and he's done so. >> not a big surprise he would lie to them but he had a 90-minute conversation with barack obama. and apparently there was not only no agreement bumt the president warned him not to do this. and at the same time, he was already moving forces in undercover of that military drill. mark halperin, the republicans are seizing this and beating up on the white house saying this is just another example, their view that the president is too weak and that putin is taking advantage of him. how does the white house deal with that? >> a 90 minute call is extraordinary. the vice president working the phones also to try to figure out how to appeal to putin but look, we know that relationship is not great. it is not a republican talking
9:07 am
point at all to say and their criticism does go along the lines, that putin watched the president's actions in the region and in syria and clearly emboldened by that. for instance on syria. even at the time or at the time, the allies said failure to act in syria after he drew the line would potentially be a problem and send a signal. leon pan net at a and others said that. it's difficult for the president to make any personal appeal to putin. i'm not sure what the point of that call was because i think from a public relations point of view, it does send a signal that he does not have a strong enough relationship to stop putin from acting to turn him around. if putin goes forward and does more, the more the united states asks for things and doesn't get them, the worse it is and more republicans will criticize him. i will say that i think the administration would serve itself and country and situation by briefing the heck out of congress and trying to keep
9:08 am
speaker boehner and other republicans in the leadership on board with the united front from this country because i think that's attainable. there will be outliars but the more he can do that -- >> thank you both very much. for more on this volatile situation in ukraine, i'm joined by michael mcfall who just recently returned from russia. he's a professor of political science at stanford university. ambassador, thank you very much for being with us. i wanted to brief you on something the without just announced, it will not send a delegation to the paralympics in sochi. we're having an olympic stand joch over a crisis with russia. the official u.s. delegation will not go to sochi. you've come back from sochi and moscow. let's talk about angela merkel saying to mr. obama that putin
9:09 am
doesn't seem to be all there, after speaking with putin, she's not sure he is in touch with reality. how do you interpret this? >> well, i don't know the details obviously because i've left the government so i don't have a -- >> from your own knowledge of putin. >> your own knowledge of putin and of merkel. >> well, i think two things are important to understand. first of all, the russian government including president putin are extremely angry at how things have evolved inside ukraine and angry at their clients. their one-time client president yanukovych for how weak he behaved in their view. i saw all of the senior leadership right before i left and this was a view i heard many times, and so therefore, they are striking back and trying to do something independent inside ukraine because they feel like they lost when supporting mr. yanukovych. second, putin is in an
9:10 am
aggressive position right now. you remember they just came off the olympics and a lot of nationalist pride. i was there twice in sochi, you could feel it. therefore, i think he is in a dangerous state of mind and not thinking fully about long-term consequences of other things that he, his government and his private sector have tried to build. that's not a good situation for the world right now. >> let's talk about that. because counter argument would be that he just spent 50, $60 billion to build up russia's reputation as a world player, not someone who aggressively crosses boshders and takes across of the crimean peninsula. what is it to his advantage if you think geopolitically for vladimir putin to take this step and thumb at nose at all of europe who are his economic partners? >> the duality of those two acts are something i experienced as ambassador almost every day in the administration for five
9:11 am
years. on the one hand, they yearn respect from the west. they are super sensitive about press reports and how their country is portrayed. on the other hand, they do things that just totally undermine that respect and obviously what president putin has decided to do in crimea is just that. i see it as unfortunate for future of russia. i'm not the only one that thinks that way inside russia. there's a real debate in russia on how smart this is. what are the economic consequences of it? privately you have heard messaging of important business people there saying do we really want to throw away everything we've built over the last 15 years to occupy crimea. and the stock market was very volatile, ruble is dropping. there's a debate going on. putin is not hearing it right now and i think that's mainly what the chancellor meant. he's not in touch with the -- with all of the different pieces
9:12 am
that this particular decision affects. >> and a.m. boss dore, the line that we're hearing from secretary kerry is this is not an east/west struggle, return to the cold ward, not the u.s. versus russia. at the same time we know from those leaked conversations that the assistant secretary of state was talking about we like this player, we don't like this player. we were involved in putin's perspective in meddling in the future of the new government of ukraine before the crisis really became volatile and violent in the square. >> well, the obama administration was involved but i would call it involved in a way to try to find a peaceful democratic resolution to a political standoff. and a tragic standoff. let's remember, people were being killed on the streets of kiev. and that's the position of the administration today and european leaders. that i think needs to be the position put forward to putin,
9:13 am
that it is not in anyone's interest to have civil war in ukraine. and that i think needs to be the focus of diplomat ing activities in the near term. over the long term of course there are other more punitive things that could be done against russia. but right now the focus needs to remind putin why that's in nobody's interest, including russia's national interest. >> in a short term, how effective would it be if europe could come together and let's say the toughest measures banking sanctions, tough economic measures. how quickly would he feel that and his naval base in crimea and arguably a real toe hold taking over ukraine is more important to me, more important to my vision of russia than economic relations with europe and the rest of the world? >> there's the short term game and long-term game. in the short term, it's important to raise the spector,
9:14 am
that's exactly what he was doing yesterday, to get president putin to think about those, right. and maybe to find a face saving way to pull forces out and have some kind of negotiation for new free and fair elections in ukraine that allows ukraine to be free, independent and whole. in the long term, if he decides to go the other way, sanctions will not provide immediate reaction in russia. it will be a much more long term prospect. and i think that's important for people to understand. it won't be immediate. but this is a big difference in the 21st century versus a 1956 or 1968 when we saw soviet interest ter vengss eastern europe. russian banks do have multibillion dollar arrangements with western banks. there's russian money all over the world, including in the united states. and those provide real targets
9:15 am
of economic opportunity should in fact the administration decide to go for punitive sanctions. >> ambassador mike mcfall, just back from russia. thank you for joining us. joining me from the capital of crimea, bill neely, thanks so much. first of all, it's clear to you, i know, that the people there are very supportive of russia. they consider themselves russian. does putin leave it there and for all intents and purposes have operational control over crimea or is his goal the rest of ukraine? >> reporter: well, that's the big question, isn't it? i mean, as you say, it appears that he has complete control of crimea but does he stop there. there are demonstrations today in the industrial heartland of eastern ukraine. and there have been obviously street riots and demonstrations
9:16 am
in kharkov, ukraine's second city. i've been watching russian troops here today and they are stationed outside ukrainian bases trying to take those bases. there's a standoff. no shots have been fired. no sign of confrontation but at the moment it doesn't look like the russian troops are approaching beyond crimea and into eastern ukraine. that would take this to a whole different plain. the ambassador talking about check slow vak yan, and vladimir putin achieved all of this without a shot being fired and done it in three days. >> if there were a referendum or some sort of pretext of a vote from the people of crimea, putin would win so he could make the case that i'm only taking control and listening to the people, rather than invading a
9:17 am
foreign country. >> reporter: and there will be a vote on march the 30th. could be by the end of this month the people of crimea will have said, we don't want to be ruled by ukraine anymore. i think the vote will not mention russia but certainly say who do you want to be ruled by? three quarters of the people here in crimea speak russian and feel russian and feel it absolutely passionately and had it with kiev. you could find by the end of the month there is talk in the parliament behind me of then basically declaring independence and at that point you've got independent republic uncontrolled by kiev and we're into again a whole new dynamic and we'll see what vladimir putin does. >> bill neely, at the center of it all. thank you so much. a programming note, i'll be on assignment leaving with secretary kerry flying overnight to ukraine reporting from kiev
9:18 am
tomorrow. and we'll be right back. but first, "12 years a slave" took home the big awards winning best picture. many of the nights highlights took place not on center stage but out in the audience as host ellen degeneres created first of its kind oscar moments, including an impromptu pizza party and the actors taking the selfie. >> nice. yes! i never tweeted before. >> meryl streep's first tweet. within a matter of hours this picture had more than 2 million retre tre retweets and previous record holder president obama for this twit pic, the caption, four more years. the big winners of the night had their moment to shine.
9:19 am
>> perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are nichexperience, they are not. audiences want to see them and in fact they earn money. so the world is round, people. >> it doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. and so i want to salute the spirit of patsy for her guidance. >> to all of the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like the ukraine and venezuela, i want to say, we are here and as you struggle to -- to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible we're thinking of you tonight. [ female announcer ] olay presents the new regenerist luminous collection.
9:20 am
renews surface cells to even skin tone. in just two weeks, see pearlescent, luminous skin. new regenerist luminous. from olay. new regenerist luminous. no two people have the same financial goals. pnc investments works with you to understand yours and helps plan for your retirement. talk to a pnc investments financial advisor today. ♪ yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out
9:21 am
medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and virtually no referrals needed. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now.
9:22 am
9:23 am
no shortage of crises for the president first there's ukraine. in the midst of this he'll meet with benjamin netanyahu to discuss iran and syria and peace talks. obama outlined the tough warning he plans to issue to israel about making peace with the palestinians telling netanyahu if not now when, and if not you prime minister, then who. the chief spokesman, great to have you here. >> my pleasure. >> it's a tough warning from the president to netanyahu. what was the response? >> i'd like to give a personal response, i've got a father and
9:24 am
daughter doing her military service today in the israeli army and son going in in a month. israelis want peace more than n anyone else. that's a real revolution and change in a positive direction for us. so it has to be understood israel wants peace and reconciliation with a our neighbors. what we don't want though is what we saw in the past where israel pulls out of territory and from that very same territory israel is attacked. we saw this in gaza. what did we get? missiles fired onto the citizens and same thing when we pulled out of south lebanon. we want a real peace. not a quick fix that could explode further down the road. >> taking up that point, the difference this time is that you've got john allen working with john kerry to come up with security arrangements for the
9:25 am
jordan valley and a much stronger involvement in the military aspect, not just saying once you have peace you'll have security but this time -- what kerry is trying to do he says, is say here is the security component. but israel is going to have to give up something as the palestinians will. what israel will have to give up is land, land for peace has been a settled issue with israel all along for decades since camp david. but if israel keeps building settlements it's going to be harder to envision any kind of palestinian state that has real borders. >> it only works if it's a two-way street. if it's concessions demanded of israel, it's not going to work. it has to have a meeting. minds and see palestinians come to the table. that's one of our frustrations. over the last few months we've been working energetically with secretary kerry almost every day --
9:26 am
>> not all of those conversations are very pleasant. you have an israeli minister saying kerry is anti-semitic. >> i think it was a back venture -- >> i mean israel is a democracy and people can say different things. but the government doesn't believe that, not for a moment. the process can work if the palestinians show the sort of plexibility that's required of them as well. my prime minister has done a settlement freeze and been releasing security prisoners, convicted terrorists and taking tough decisions and taking a lot of political flak for tough decisions to get the process going. it's time the palestinians stood up to the plate. we're ready to show the same amount of flexibility to meet somewhere in the middle. >> the palestinian argument would be that settlements expanded and commitments for east jerusalem are taking it piece by piece taking any potential capital that they have
9:27 am
or land they may have. both sides have to negotiate here. how does this ukraine confrontation with putin influence the middle east dialogue, iran, syria, all of these other crises because russia is such a big influence in all of these. >> i don't know yet. i don't think anyone knows yet how this crisis in ukraine will play out. we have to hope that diplomacy succeeds here. i would say the following though, on the issue of the settlements you raise, netanyahu deserves for credit than he's given. a ten-month settlement freeze that hillary clinton called unprecedented. when israel did take the settlements down we didn't get peace. there are other problems that have to be tackled and other issues that can't be ignored. why do those palestinians who want peace and say they will refuse always to recognize israel as the national home of the jewish people. if we're weekend asked to
9:28 am
recognize a palestinian state, a national home for the palestinian people, why do they stubbornly refuse to give us the same recognition. what sort of peace are they offering us if in their minds israel is still illegitimate? >> do you agree with the argument that the president is making and that other israelis have made that demographically israel has to deal with this. not only for its own democratic future but just demographically, you will not be able to survive the growth in the palestinian population and growth in the israeli arab population unless you make some peace. >> we want that peace. we want to see two states for two peoples and see the end of the conflict. what we don't want to see is israeli pullout and hostile state that looks like gaza today that continues the conflict with israel for more advantageous borders. for a real peace we're there, for a genuine peace, we're there. don't -- we want something
9:29 am
that's serious. here once again, i want to hear from the palestinians to hear unequivocally that they recognize the jewish people have a right to be there. we haven't heard that yet. i want to hear from them they are willing to take seriously israel's legitimate security concerns. i hope they'll be there soon. >> mark, we know mahmoud abass will meet with president obama march 17th. there's hope that these two sides can come together. >> i hope so very much. >> thank you very much and good luck to you. safe travels and to your children in the service. >> thank you. >> and the oscar pistorius murder trial began in south africa today. the former olympic and paralympic track star pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. prosecutors say he intentionally killed steenkamp but pistorius says it was a mistake.
9:30 am
the neighbor testified to hearing a woman scream before the sound of gunshots on the night of steenkamp's death. if convicted on the murder charge, pistorius could face 25 years in prison before any chance of parole. if i can impart one lesson to a new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is my philosophy is real simple american express open forum is an on-line community, that helps our members connect and share ideas to make smart business decisions. if you mess up, fess up. be your partners best partner. we built it for our members, but it's open for everyone.
9:31 am
there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.d everybody knows that. well, did you know pinocchio was a bad motivational speaker? i look around this room and i see nothing but untapped potential. you have potential.
9:32 am
you have...oh boy. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close!
9:33 am
new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. welcome to our world, icy highways and thousands of flight cancellations and the federal government shut down. this is winter in washington and won't quit. tom costello braving the elements downtown and no metro service or buses. i assume it's an empty wonder land and you're by yourself out there, tom. >> reporter: pretty much. it's march 3rd. we've got 3 inches or so, maybe 5 inches in downtown d.c. there were predictions we could get a foot or so but that didn't material. schools are closed again and the greater d.c. area, maryland and
9:34 am
virginia included. the real problem is this layer of ice underneath the snow that you can't see. last night at 11:00, i was out driving my kids home from a concert and it was a driving rain storm. when the temperatures dropped, all of that rain turned to ice, created a sheet of ice on the roads and now we've got 3 to 5 inches of snow on top of it. so the roads are treacherous across the entire region and virginia has declared a state of emergency. they really got hit harder to the south of us. man that is as, a lot of snow there. 2500 flight cancellations on top of 2,000 yesterday. this winter of discontent -- has anybody used that phrase before -- continues here on the east coast. it is bone chilling cold. spoetszed to drop down to single digits tonight then they say we're going to crawl back to the 50s but it will take until saturday to get there. and the good news is that the
9:35 am
cherry blossoms here have not started to blossom. so hopefully they will stay nice and closed and be cocooneed until they are ready to come out in a few weeks. >> thank you, tom costello. we do not want to see anything happen to our adored cherry blossom, the only sign of spring we can look forward to. thank you, tom, stay dry, i hope. >> and lawyers and judges now -- including two suicide bombers started the complex in islamabad. an eyewitness said multiple attack fired with automatic weapons and lobbed hand grena grenades, it sent lawyers and judges running. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one.
9:36 am
it's not the "juggle a bunch of rotating categories" card. it's not the "sign up for rewards each quarter" card. it's the no-games, no-messing-'round,
9:37 am
no-earning-limit-having, do-i-look-like-i'm-joking, turbo-boosting, heavyweight-champion- of-the-world cash back card. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. now tell me, what's in your wallet?
9:38 am
to nbcuniversal's coveragens of the biggest loser day. olympic winter games ever, with the most coverage of the most events on every device. and the most hours of streaming video on the nbc sports live extra app, including the x1 platform from xfinity. comcast was honored to bring every minute of every medal of nbcuniversal's coverage to every screen. so what's next? rio 2016. welcome to what's next. comcast nbcuniversal. welcome back.
9:39 am
as the standoff between russia and ukraine escalated, we can reflect on another foreign conflict, iraq, we can determine the claim surrounding wmds false, but why did we get into that iraq war? rachel maddow seeks answers in "why we did it". >> the pentagon is debating whether to use control of iraqi oil to advance important u.s. foreign policy objectives affected by energy issues. while the national debate is over, tubes and mobile biological weapons labs, internal documents note that increased oil production in a post war iraq would have the vul effect of reducing world oil prices. >> prior to our even going to war in iraq, the focus was on oil. and iraqi oil and how to take it over far more than anything
9:40 am
else. >> joining me now is rachel maddow, the host of the "the rachel maddow" show and "why we did it." what is the answer after all of your work on this? >> i think, andrea, the question is the most important part, which is the decisions of our generation on national security are determined more than anything by what the george w. bush administration did with that nine-year war in iraq and alongside of the 13-year war in afghanistan that's still going on. the american people are against those wars. those are the determine tif constraint for thinking about everything from crimea to syria to what the overall size of the u.s. military is. if we want avoid those protracted foreign -- we can't make good decisions until we understand why we did that. we know the public case for why we're going to iraq is not true, not actually why we went.
9:41 am
we've been able to get new documents from the u.s. and uk that put the focus much more on resources, on what iraq had to offer, not what iraq was threatening to the u.s. or anybody else in the world. it's a disturbing documentary, i have to tell you, one of the more controversial and upsetting things i've ever worked on but i feel it's getting at the question that needs to be answered. >> and rachel, while we talk about why we got into that war as you've pointed out, it has an impact on every other decision we make, why the president decided not to go ahead with air strikes against bashar al assad on labor day weekend and that some would argue, not me, but some of the critics are saying that has influenced the way how foreign leader and putin view him. if you would stand by, we want to go to the state department, secretary of state kerry is welcoming the leader of -- >> competitiveness is key to businesses and to their economic
9:42 am
prospects and we'll add another $2.8 million to an already 4.7 million for a total of $7.5 or so million to help in this particular transition. but the united states has provided very significant economic assistance, close to a billion and a half dollars over the course of this transition. we are very interested in helping the prime minister in his efforts to continue with his anti-corruption initiatives in the country. and we're very, very excited by the leadership that he and his government are providing as they really determine their own future and make clear their determination to be part of a larger global trading mechanism. while i was in, i had an occasion to visit a rather remarkable winery, quite a spectacular underground
9:43 am
facility, this is one of the great products that they are now exporting. and we're excited about the prospects of their ability to broaden that market. there are challenges. i regret to say that russia in some of the challenges we're seeing right now in ukraine has put pressure on maldova, there are challenges with respect to their energy sources and also their ability to trade. but we are committed firmly to the direction that they have chosen for themselves and their government has expressed a desire to pursue. we will also obviously talk about the neighborhood, the region. and the near neighbor ukraine and events that are unfolding there. so i look forward to a very constructive conversation, a timely one as depart this evening for kiev.
9:44 am
and i'm very grateful the prime minister would take the time to come visit. thank you. >> as we watch the prime minister speaking with secretary kerry, they are talking about a lot more than wine. they are talking about what putin is doing and what he is up to and maldova another former soviet blocked country bordering on ukraine. all of the issues you're exploring in the documentary have real resonance for the u.s. foreign policy for this white house and this president. >> when you think about the american range of options, there's all of this sort of chatter in washington about what president obama -- how president obama has to look and whether or not he seems muscular and tough or weak, that's esoteric stuff, there's no boots on the ground option here. the ukrainian government is not saying there's a military option in terms of respondsing to what russia has done. we can give money to them and
9:45 am
georgia and to ukraine, part of what turned ukraine around from its pro-european drift back to russia was a $15 billion bribe from vladimir putin if the west eu and u.s. want to start matching that kind of money, it may lead them back in the direction most of the population wants, anyway. the options we have, can be punitive but almost nobody believes they are military. i think vladimir putin in the long run doesn't have many military options beyond crimea either. but we have to think about what we can do, not just how we want to look but what the actual options are. and without talking about what we can actually do is less productive than it ought to be. >> indeed. the other point is from putin's perspective, we've been meddling but the bottom line, kerry is going to kiev overnight and he's dealing with a very fraktous
9:46 am
group of interim leaders and he needs to get them to be stronger and get them to be unified because they are obviously facing this huge russian challenge to their east. and they have to show that they can lead and they can govern. >> sure. they've been in control of the government for about five minutes. right. >> actively appointing eastern ukrainian regional governors right now as the eastern ukraine is facing troops on its border essentially from crimea and from the russian border there. that's a government that is being formed in the moment and not an accident. why russia has moved so quickly, without insignia so there could be ambiguity about who was there and what they were doing while the government was still forming but the ukrainian government doesn't think it has the military might to stand up to the russian army. and nobody in the region does. they've activated their reserves but know it's not going to be a land war, not going to be a land war for us or nato forces any
9:47 am
time soon. ukraine doesn't want to fight on its own. the only way putin can be turned back is other kinds of pressure. . i think the challenges are diplomatic, how many other countries or alliances john kerry and the president can line up into putting maximum pressure on putin in a way he's going to feel. >> and whether or not -- you're right, whether or not europe is really to be united and tough in showing that there are banking sanctions, that there are other ultimately getting kicked out of the g-8 and the ruble falling against the dollar will prove long term that russia's economy will falter. and he seems focused on the crimea and the russian empire and its hold over former territories. >> those remarks from angela merkel, at the same time she apparently is suggesting that russia shouldn't be kicked out of the g-8, shouldn't be that kind of direct pressure that has
9:48 am
been raised here in and other countries part of the former g-8 that became the g-8, to say that and then say she spoke with putin is felt like he was on another planet. they are such a linchpin in terms of our international capabilities. >> thank you for being with us. "why we did it" premieres this thursday 9:00 eastern on msnbc. and new bounty has no quit in it either. watch how one sheet of new bounty keeps working, while their two sheets just quit. new bounty. the no-quit picker-upper. while their two sheets just quit. your hepatitis c.forget it's slow moving, you tell yourself. i have time. after all there may be no symptoms for years. no wonder you try to push it to the back of your mind and forget it.
9:49 am
but here's something you shouldn't forget. hepatitis c is a serious disease. if left untreated, it could lead to liver damage and potentially even liver cancer. if you are one of the millions of people with hepatitis c, you haven't been forgotten. there's never been a better time to rethink your hep c. because people like you may benefit from scientific advances. advances that could help you move on from hep c. now is the time to rethink hep c and talk to your doctor. visit to find out about treatment options. and register for a personalized guide to help you prepare for a conversation with your doctor.
9:50 am
then don't miss sleep train's wbest rest ever? you'll find sleep train's very best mattresses at the guaranteed lowest price. plus, pay no interest for 3 years on beautyrest black, stearns & foster, serta icomfort, even tempur-pedic. and rest even better with sleep train's risk-free 100-day money back guarantee. get your best rest ever from sleep train. superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ to nbcuniversal's coveragens of the biggest loser
9:51 am
olympic winter games ever, with the most coverage of the most events on every device. and the most hours of streaming video on the nbc sports live extra app, including the x1 platform from xfinity. comcast was honored to bring every minute of every medal of nbcuniversal's coverage to every screen. so what's next? rio 2016. welcome to what's next. comcast nbcuniversal. this is a blatant act on part of vladimir putin and one that must be unacceptable to the world community. why do we care? because this is the ultimate result of a foreign policy where nobody believes in america's strength anymore. [ applause ] >> how does president obama balance war weariness in america against the critics from the
9:52 am
right. when weighing options david axelrod, senior political analyst for msnbc and senior adviser to president obama and joins me now. you've been in the room and heard the president debating with his advisers what to do against previous challenges from russia and elsewhere. what is in the president's head when he tries to counteract vladimir putin right now? >> well, the first question is what can you do that would be effective? i thought rachel touched on a number of those in the last segment. there's a difference between being a politician making a speech and trying to score rhetorical points and being the commander in chief faced with a set of facts. i'm sure the president has said there will be consequences and secretary of state has said there will be consequences and susan rice has said there will be consequences and i think they are running through that array of possibilities now. as rachel said, it's very, very important to bring our allies into that mix. so that if there are economic
9:53 am
sanctions that are imposed and travel visas and so on removed, that they have the impact that they are intended to have. so -- and i think you also have to consider when you're president, andrea, what all of the collateral possibilities are here. we have dealings with russia on some issues and europe relies on russia for its energy. that will factor into these discussions. but the fact is this has been an act of aggression, the president has said there will be consequences and costs to that and now they have to act on that. >> what do we do if germany is not willing as we are to be tough on the economic ramifications for russia? >> that's an important factor. and as rachel pointed out, chancellor merkel was a little ambiguous about how far she was willing to go. that is among the conversations i'm sure the president is having
9:54 am
with our allies and secretary kerry is having with our allies because it's important there's an unified front on this. if it's going to be effective, it will require that. but there are steps, mike mcfall talked about that could be taken relative to the banking system that would have an impact on russia. the question is as putin weighs these things, how much the crimea and ukraine means to him versus those kinds of impacts. >> when you read the interview with president obama, it's very clear to me but must be even more clear to you, you've been behind the scenes, that this president was elected with a mandate he thinks to get us out of wars and not into wars. that really does inform his responses to crises such as this. >> there's no doubt he doesn't feel force is the answer in every case. everybody agrees on that it's not the case here. over the course of history we've had test cases of this.
9:55 am
georgia was the last one in 2008. the question is what other kinds of pressures can be brought to bear. we saw the president was very successful in cobbling together an international coalition, including the russians to force iran to the negotiating table on the nuclear question. but what made that effective was t was the u.n. nimty there was for him. bringing the allies around both in support of the ukrainian government and some sort of sanctions against russia. >> and very briefly, david, i saw your tweets about being the parent of a special olympian and the excitement with jimmy fallon and rahm emanuel taking the pole are plunge for special olympics. i'm glad you weren't with them. how rough was that? >> well, you know, we're flirting with zero degree temperatures and they jumped in
9:56 am
the water and helped raise a million dollars for special olympics, a wonderful program. i was so impressed with both of them for their willingness to do that and rally people behind that cause. it was really -- it was a very cold day but warm day as well. >> warm indeed. thank you so much and thanks for everything you and susan are doing. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." beginning tomorrow i'll be on assignment from kiev with secretary of state kerry as he heads to ukraine. you can follow me online at facebook and twitter. my colleague ronan farrow has a look at what's next. >> great show, i'm looking forward to that reporting out of kiev. >> thank you. >> first, on "ronan farrow daily", today we have moscow taking crimea in the biggest act of aggression in the western world since the cold war. o could this be obama's big foreign policy debacle? and this is unfolding as he
9:57 am
prepares to sit down with israeli prime minister netanyahu in the next hour. they are going to discuss another major foreign policy challenges, the middle east peace talks. the calendar may say march but this weather feels a lot like january, another brutal storm system is hammering millions fd americans. we'll have sam champion with an update on that. you're not going to want to miss our call to action this week. it's something you should know about. what states around the country are doing to limit your right to vote. we're going to take you around the country from ohio, to texas, join us in a few minutes. ♪ make every day, her day with a full menu of appetizers and entrées crafted with care and designed to delight. fancy feast. love served daily.
9:58 am
[ chainsaw whirring ] humans -- sometimes life trips us up. sometimes we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes may seem to just keep coming at you, so do the solutions. like multi-policy discounts from liberty mutual insurance. save up to 10% just for combining your auto and home insurance. call liberty mutual insurance at... [ thump ] to speak with an insurance expert and ask about all the personalized savings available for when you get married, move into a new house, or add a car to your policy. personalized coverage and savings.
9:59 am
all the things humans need to make our world a little less imperfect. call... and ask about all the ways you could save. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? transferred money from his before larry instantly bank of america savings account to his merrill edge retirement account. before he opened his first hot chocolate stand calling winter an "underserved season". and before he quit his friend's leaf-raking business for "not offering a 401k." larry knew the importance of preparing for retirement. that's why when the time came he counted on merrill edge to streamline his investing and help him plan for the road ahead. that's the power of streamlined connections. that's merrill edge and bank of america.
10:00 am
hello and welcome to "ronan farrow daily" week two and this is the perfect place to nurse your post-oscar hangover. we'll explain what the white house is calling vladimir putin's invasion of ukraine. sam champion will be here today to make sense of the storms